Whether you're new on the road, or have been driving for decades, driving comes with a high level of responsibility that, when forgotten, can lead to accidents and injuries. There can be no doubt that the number of large motorized vehicles greatly outweighs smaller vehicles like motorcycles and bicyclists. But if you're going to be driving, you will find yourself in the vicinity of one sooner or later.
It can be easy to forget to carefully watch blind spots that exist within your car. But going out of your way to be aware of your active surroundings is an important job that needs to be taken seriously. Motorcycles and bicycles alike can virtually disappear if they happen to be in just the right spot, and for them, a careless lane change could result in serious injury or even death.
The following suggestions are a number of ways that you can help prevent an accident with a motorcycle or bicyclist on the road:
Don't assume that you're clear to change lanes when traffic levels are low
Check mirrors frequently to stay aware of who is sharing the road with you
Make a note of existing blind spots and exercise extreme caution when changing lanes
Pay close attention to vehicles ahead of the one in front of you
Watch for brake lights or sudden movements made by other drivers
Do not distract yourself with cell phones, make-up, food, or any other task while driving
Keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles
A Shift In The Burden Of Responsibility
While it is important for the drivers of larger vehicles to stay aware of their surroundings and to watch out for motorcycles and bicycles, all of the responsibility cannot fall on them. As an operator of a smaller vehicle you must be aware of the fact that drivers may not see you due to distraction or blind spots that exist within their line of sight.
Many motorcyclists feel that drivers should be able to hear them because their bikes emit such a strong growl. However, keep in mind that people in cars, especially if they have the windows rolled up, probably have music playing, but may also have kids and other things sapping their attention away from the road.
Things that cyclists can do to avoid being involved in an accident include:
Wearing bright or reflective clothing, especially at night
Give yourself extra space (even if other drivers fail to) by slowing down or changing lanes
Practice additional caution at traffic stops to ensure that drivers are aware of your presence
Do not attempt to pass between cars
Keep an eye out for people opening doors unexpectedly
Do not use your phone or music device while driving
Do your best to avoid being in the blind spots of other drivers
Wear all recommended safety gear to further protect your body
Think Before You Drive
Before you get behind the wheel, remember that you are not the only motorist on the road. By staying aware of your surroundings and practicing safe driving, more people can avoid being involved in dangerous accidents. Even things as simple as taking a moment to double check your blind spot or giving yourself a few extra feet could make all the difference between a safe trip, and a severe accident with another motorist.
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Article Added on Friday, May 31, 2013
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